Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

Help with a Visitor

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Irishkitty:
I'm hoping that this is the right place. I have a potentially sticky situation coming up. Sorry for the long background.

[BG] Dear friend lives in another country. As it's far away we can't often visit, but every 3 - 4 years we try. Usually we stay with her when visiting her country. ETA: We always offer to stay in a hotel but she insists we stay with her.

DF is originally from our country, so she tries to visit every other year.

When she visits she alternately stays with family, a property she owns, friends and usually ends up spending at least a weekend with us, and we meet up several evenings while she's here.

Although it's actually DH and her who are old friends, they can rub each other up the wrong way, and last time we saw her I was so frustrated trying to mediate between them that I had a big blow out with her on the last day of our trip. It wasn't an end-of-a-friendship blow out, just more a case of me explicitly stating to her that I was my own person, I didn't give a fiddlers what she would do in a particular situation, and that I would do what I felt was best for me. Then I flounced off to bed and she was fairly contrite the next day, probably shocked that I not only did not hold the same opinion as her, but that I dared tell her that my opinion was just as valid!  ;)

The other important point is that we both work full time, and she does not (have to) work, she lives off savings and investments

DH is also paranoid about safety - the house must be locked and alarmed, even if we're only popping to the shop (5 mins max). DF, the last time were were over, frequently left her house unlocked, windows open. We pointed this out and she said " oh, there's a prickly bush beneath the window, and besides they'd need a ladder", when we questioned this she assured us it was a low crime area  ??? ::)
/[BG]


So a few months ago DF mentioned she was planning to visit for about 3 weeks in May with her new BF. We were on skype and talking about lots of differenet things, but when we finished the conversation DH said his impression was that she planned to spend the full 3 weeks with us. My impression was that she was planning to spend a few days, maybe as much as a week.

Now, I appreciate that she puts us up for a week - 10 days when we travel to see her. But as I mentioned above she and DH can get on each others nerves, especially when they're together for a long time like a week. As we work full time and get only the minimum holidays allowed under the law we would not be able to take time off while she was here, maybe a couple of days, but that would be it. There's also the issue of her & her BF staying in the house while we're at work, if they go out to visit friends DH's paranoid that they'll leave a window open or forget the alarm...  ::)

So, we havn't heard anything further from her regarding the trip so we're planning on skyping her this evening or sometime this week. How to get out of her what her plans are and to let her know that staying with us for more than a few days is just not on the cards?

Her property here is rented out, so that's not an option for her. There's no hotels near us either...

I know we can say "I'm afraid that won't be possible", but I kind of want to elaborate if she insists it's ok if we're working because they'll just do their own thing while still staying with us?

Virtual cookies to everyone who made it through this post x

ETA: We didn't pressure her about locking her house, nor do we assume to stay with her, so I've amended the OP background

sparksals:
While your husband Is sticky about locking doors, Windows and alarms, you were rude to press her about that while staying at het home. Her house, her rules. If it makes yoir Dh uncomfortable, stay somewhere else.

You say she and your Dh get on each other's nerves when in close quarters and you stay with her for 10 days at a time.  Yet when it comes to her staying for more than a few days, it is a problem.  Sounds like an uneven amount of hospitality.

You don't have to take time off for her visit and you have very right to make clear to her the rules with locking the house.  It does sound like you benefit more from her hospotality than she does from yours and I don't understand why youbtwo stay with her so ling if ahe and your Dh butt heads.

Whilr you are only able to out her up for a few days, be prepared for her to limit your visit time at her home.  I dont think you should be expecting ti stay for that extendd time at her house and then not reciorocate the same to her in your home.     

NyaChan:
In the instant situation, decide how long you are willing to let her stay with you.  Then when you Skype her:  "DF, we wanted to confirm your plans for when you visit.  We can host you for X days - when do you plan to arrive?"

SamiHami:
I tend to agree with Sparksal in that your husband seems to manage to get along with DF when it is to your advantage-a free place to stay for 10 days-but not when the situation is reversed. If you are concerned about security/alarms, then what you do is have a serious "house rules" talk with her shortly after she arrives, and make sure she understands that the rules are non-negotiable.

I also agree with Nyachan that you can determine how long to allow visitors to stay in your home. Just don't be surprised if DF chooses to exercise the same right the next time you go to visit her.

Irishkitty:

--- Quote from: sparksals on April 23, 2012, 08:53:05 AM ---While your husband Is sticky about locking doors, Windows and alarms, you were rude to press her about that while staying at het home. Her house, her rules. If it makes yoir Dh uncomfortable, stay somewhere else.
--- End quote ---

We merely commented that we were surprised that she often left doors and or windows unlocked, we did not press the issue. As you say, her house, her rules.

I neglected to say in my background that we never request that she hosts us for the full time, we offer to stay in a hotel or other accommodation and she always insists that we stay as she has always had a spare room, plus unlimited time to host us. Unfortunatly we cannot offer the same level of hosting. We would have no problem if we were visting her country and we ended up staying in a hotel the whole time.

DH does not take advantage of her hospitality just when it suits him, and I resent that assumption. We both genuinely care for her, we just know our limitations and we cannot reciprocate her hospitality in kind.

We know that house rules, such as locking up, can and will be addressed when she's here in person. I was just giving that as an example of how they differ.

Usually when she visits she only stays for 3 - 4 days as she's visting other people also, but it was not clear in this instance, and I was looking for advice on how to clarify with her that staying with us for 21 days was not a possibility.


--- Quote from: NyaChan on April 23, 2012, 09:01:34 AM ---In the instant situation, decide how long you are willing to let her stay with you.  Then when you Skype her:  "DF, we wanted to confirm your plans for when you visit.  We can host you for X days - when do you plan to arrive?"

--- End quote ---

Thanks NyaChan, that sounds like a good approach.

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